Team USA won the FIBA Basketball World Cup championship, but NBA fans should take notice of a couple names that will ripple the league.
The name, Anthony Davis, is not a surprise appearance.
He may be the third best player in the NBA and it’s not a fluke. Davis is just 21 years old, but he’s already a record-breaker. Last season, he was the fastest player to 2200 points, 1100 rebounds, and 300 blocks (131 games) by players age 21 or younger. He averaged 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, and 2.8 rebounds a contest. In additional, he shot 52 percent from the field and 79.1 percent from the free-throw line. His efficiency was good enough to rank fourth overall with a score of 26.5 (behind Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Kevin Love).
While Davis has yet to play a full season, the potential this power forward has is frightening. International fans only received a glimpse into the impressive arsenal and skill of Davis, but this NBA season should be the full culmination. It may just be Davis’ league.
Honorable mention: DeMarcus Cousins (fifth in PER, behind Davis)
The second name that should blow up this year was not a product of how well they played during the FIBA World Cup, but rather because of their situation.
Kyrie Irving is a point guard for a team that should content for the Eastern Conference’s best record. The question about Irving’s ability to lead a team should be muted because James and Love are now the default best offensive options on the court. All Irving needs to do is mature, grow, and play with his new All-Star teammates. If Irving can achieve maximum efficiency and play harmonious ball with both James and Love, this will be his best season ever.
The question with Irving was never talent or basketball IQ, but rather his ability to lead a team or carry teammates to a playoff berth. That doesn’t need to be answered because he’s finally off the “franchise player” tag.
Honorable mention: Derrick Rose
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